Six middle fingers on Snapchat lead to disqualification of Junior League softball team

Let this be a lesson, kids: The next time you want to gloat about beating your opponents on their home turf, think twice — especially if your chosen method of gloating is posting a photo on social media of six teammates flipping the bird under the caption, “watch out host.”

The 12-to-14-year-olds who make up the Atlee junior league softball team from Mechanicsville, Va.,learned this the hard way on Saturday when they were disqualified from the nationally televised championship game at the Junior League World Series in Kirkland, Wash., after one team member posted that photo on her Snapchat account.

Little League spokesman Kevin Fountain called the post “inappropriate” in a statement to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, explaining that it violated the league’s “policies regarding unsportsmanlike conduct.”

The disqualification didn’t sit well with the Atlee team manager, Scott Currie, who had found out about the photo shortly after the team posted it following a 1-0 win over Kirkland on Friday. Currie immediately reprimanded the children, aged 12 to 14, who were involved, before demanding they delete the post and apologize in person to their rivals.

“It’s a travesty for these girls,” Currie told the Times-Dispatch on Saturday. “Yes, they screwed up, but I don’t think the punishment fit the crime.”

According to Atlee coach Chris Mardigian, who spoke to RVA Sports, the post came in retaliation to “several incidents of harassment” perpetrated by some Kirkland team members that targeted the Atlee team.

The Times-Dispatch adds that both a player and coach from Kirkland’s team were ejected after being caught relaying Atlee’s team signals from second base to Kirkland batters.

Making matters worse for Atlee, Kirkland was chosen to replace Atlee in Saturday’s championship game against USA Central.

Little League’s decision to disqualify Atlee while promoting Kirkland irked many on social media, although most admitted the photo posted to Snapchat was inexcusable. Many also said it’s equally unfair to disqualify the whole Atlee team over the actions of six members.

“You don’t disqualify an ENTIRE team due to the posting of one child,” Sueann Taylor Ellis posted on RVA Sports’ Facebook page.

“I can understand disqualifying Atlee for the post … but to give Kirland [sic] the spot is ridiculous,” Jerry Broussard wrote. “The other team in the finals should just get the win outright. Bureaucracy at it’s [sic] finest.”

Others agreed with Little League’s decision, although they admitted it’s a “hard lesson” to learn.

“Adults/kids sooner or later need to understand that not everything should go on social media,” Michelle Turnbow Jenkins wrote. “[T]here is always someone watching!”

“I think we should all take a step back and look at the bigger picture,” Skip Horton added. “They need to think about there [sic] future colleges. This is exactly what coaches look at before the [sic] offer scholarship.”

There are dozens of cases in which social media has negatively affected a prospective student athlete’s future. In 2014, for example, a Penn State assistant coach (perhaps ironically) used Twitter to announce he “dropped another prospect” because of his social media presence.

“Actually glad I got to see the ‘real’ person before we offered him [a scholarship],” Herb Hand said.

While the Atlee player’s post and the six participants’ faces will likely exist online forever (although the post was deleted, it’s been screen-captured and shared online numerous times), the players will probably avoid any long-term damage. Not yet in high school, the children have plenty of time to rethink their online personas — and hopefully more tournament championships to play.

Pacio admits being too aggressive in loss to Suzuki

Photo from ONE Championship

MACAU—Joshua Pacio could’ve booked himself another title shot in the ONE Championship strawweight division, but that wouldn’t be the case after he bowed out in the first round of his fight against Hayato Suzuki.
The Filipino fighter admitted he was to aggressive in his Saturday fight against Suzuki in ONE Championship: Kings & Conquerors at Cotai Arena here and that led to his eventual defeat.
“I think I was too aggressive because I was really looking for that early knockout,” said Pacio (9-2), whose first strike attempt was a looping roundhouse kick right off the bell, in Filipino.
“My first roundhouse didn’t have any setup, I just wanted to throw it away because I was expecting that we will exchange in striking but this is MMA.”
Pacio’s first defeat was against strawweight champion Yoshitaka Naito in October of 2016 and a win over Suzuki was meant to be a stepping stone for the 21-year-old to vie for the belt once more.
Suzuki (17-0-2) found the opening right about the first minute mark when he got Pacio’s back and the Japanese eventually dragged the fight to the ground.
For almost a couple of minutes, Suzuki had Pacio in his control and he applied the rear-naked choke around the three-minute mark.
“Suzuki had the better position and he knew how to properly place his legs and arms to prevent me from moving,” said Pacio. “He knew how to position himself and that’s where he got me.”

Mendez gets lift from crowd to finish 2nd in Cebu Ironman

Mauricio Mendez. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

LAPU-LAPU CITY — Mauricio Mendez has heard all the talks about how great the feeling is racing in the Philippines as he prepared for his first triathlon in the country.
But the Mexican wasn’t prepared for the warmth the Cebuano crowd gave him, expressing his gratitude with the lift from the spectators as he found his second wind late in the 2017 Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines on Sunday.
“That race was really hard. But I think what makes it great is really the support of the people. All the support from everyone is just incredible,” the 22-year-old said. “I was told it was a lot of fun here, but I never expected that. It just pumped me up.”
It was a complete 180-degree shift for Mendez, who usually doesn’t pay much attention to his surroundings whenever he races.
“When I start running, I try to lose myself a little bit and just focus on the race. I knew it was more of like a survival because it was very hot,” he said.
The 2016 Xterra world champion couldn’t help but soak in all the cheers as he battled through the scorching heat with the crowd giving him the much-needed boost that helped him recover from his slow showing in the bike course before eventually, moving past the chase group to get to as high as second place.
“I’m just happy for being able to thank all the people that supported the race. In the first kilometer, I just wanted to finish because I really thought that this is going to be a long race. But I gave my heart and I expected to do well. I’m just happy for the result,” he said.
With the morale-boosting stint, Mendez vowed to be back next year for the 2018 Asia Pacific Championships as he hopes to get another chance to race in front of the adoring Cebuanos.
“I’m really looking forward to coming back here next year, train harder, try to get a win, and just be the best person that I can be,” he said. “I will be back. I’ll try to win this race and I will try everything I can to be here.”

Blackwater replaces injured Trevis Simpson, taps Henry Walker

Henry Walker. PBA IMAGES

Blackwater will sign up a familiar face in Henry Walker as its replacement import this 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup.
Team manager Johnson Martines said that the Elite have decided to bring back the 29-year-old scorer in a bid to end the team’s woes in the season-ending conference.
This will be Walker’s third stint in the PBA after previously suiting up for Alaska and NLEX.

In his last ride with the Road Warriors, he averaged 30.9 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.2 steals as he led his team to a seventh-place finish before bowing out in the quarterfinals against San Miguel.
Martines shared that Walker is set to arrive to the country on Wednesday once his papers get cleared.
Blackwater has stumbled to a 0-3 start this conference, with import Trevis Simpson suffering a torn groin muscle.
The 25-year-old forward was netting 24.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in his first two games, before being hounded by his injuries and going scoreless in the Elite’s 118-93 loss against the Beermen on Saturday.
Walker will make his debut for Blackwater on Sunday against Rain or Shine. JE

Reyes gets his birthday wish as complete Gilas 12 attend practice

Photo: Chot Reyes. (File photo from AFP)

Desperate to have a full lineup in his national team practices, Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes’ birthday wish was finally been granted when all the players named in the 2017 Fiba Asia Cup and 2017 Southeast Asian Games rosters showed up Monday at Meralco Gym.
Absent for the past sessions, Calvin Abueva made his long awaited return, much to the delight of the outspoken mentor who turns 54 on Tuesday.
“Got an early bday wish granted – our 1st complete practice!” he posted on his Twitter account with an accompanying video of the team doing the drills.

Also present for the session were Fiba Asia-bound players June Mar Fajardo, Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo, Gabe Norwood, Japeth Aguilar, Jio Jalalon, Matthew Wright, Roger Pogoy, Raymond Almazan, Christian Standhardinger, and Carl Cruz.
Practice player Ed Daquioag was also in attendance.
The cadet-laden SEA Games crew also made their presence felt, with Kiefer Ravena, Ray Parks, Kobe Paras, Raymar Jose, Mike Tolomia, Almond Vosotros, Von Pessumal all present.
Mac Belo rounded out the set for the evening sessions.
Curiously, PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa also paid the national team a visit. /atm


Mayweather-McGregor is a stale act already

Image: This July 13, 2017, photo shows Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Conor McGregor, of Ireland, facing each other for photos during a news conference at Barclays Center in New York. So far fans aren’t exactly storming the box office to buy tickets for Mayweather Jr.’s fight next month with McGregor. A check online Saturday, July 29, 2017 revealed hundreds _ even thousands _ of seats still available from Ticketmaster at the T-Mobile arena for the Aug. 26 fight. There are so many open seats that fans with enough room left on their credit cards can buy six tickets together in 162 different spots throughout the arena. AP

LAS VEGAS, United States — There’s a reason tons of good seats remain for what was supposed to be the year’s hottest ticket.
Actually, there are two reasons the hype bubble surrounding the fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor has been punctured, at least a bit.
In their quest to extract every dollar possible, promoters wildly miscalculated their audience. This isn’t boxing, with an established wealthy fan base willing to pay thousands of dollars as they did for Mayweather’s 2015 fight with Manny Pacquiao.

The 20-something UFC fans that are driving this promotion for the most part don’t have 10 grand to blow on a pair of seats. They’ll have to be content to sit in front of the television with a few friends, cheering on McGregor from the couch instead of inside the arena.
The other reason might be that the con job that is Mayweather and McGregor has been exposed. And, in a revealing twist, it was done by the fighters themselves.
The drama has already played out, almost before it really got started. The act is tired, as anyone who saw the media tour or watched the first “All Access” episode on Showtime can attest.
See Floyd play with his money. Watch Conor model fur coats and boast that his net worth will quadruple.
Listen as they scream profanities at each other, then try not to laugh at the inside joke they share as they face off for photographers.
It’s all a big tease, a fantasyland built on dreams and hopes. It’s as phony as the $100 million check that Mayweather likes to wave around when the truth is he can’t even afford to pay his taxes without selling some of his assets.
That’s enough to sell it to home viewers at $99.95 apiece. It’s entertainment, much like Wrestlemania, and a good excuse to get a few friends together for a party.
But it’s a little tougher to justify $15,000 (plus $1,292.81 in service fees) for two seats in Section 4, Row S of the T-Mobile arena that are so far from ringside you’ll need to spend another $100 for a pair of binoculars to see the action.

The bottom line is that there’s no there there. This is more reality show than fight, and the reality is that it’s such an awful mismatch that Nevada boxing regulators should be ashamed of themselves for even sanctioning it.
But Mayweather is starved for cash, and doesn’t mind making a fool of himself to replenish his bank account. The boxer who likes to wear hats proclaiming himself “TBE'” (The Best Ever) is so desperate to sell this fight that he’s promoting it by suggesting he’s not that good anymore.
“That’s what makes this fight so entertaining,” Mayweather said on the All Access show. “I’m not the Mayweather of the past.”
He’s right, because the Mayweather of the past was at least mildly interesting. But the money act is as dated as the check from the Pacquiao fight that Mayweather seems to have trouble cashing.
Gone are the days when he and 50 Cent used to toss around stacks of bills, then head out in the Bugatti to the strip clubs to throw dollar bills at dancers. The Big Boy mansion doesn’t seem so big anymore, and there are only so many times you can watch Mayweather sitting in his private jet.
The same holds true for McGregor. His fur coats seem nice enough — though it’s hard to be sure the one he wore at the media tour stop in New York was really made of polar bear — and he’s thrown out a few genuinely funny lines.
But it mostly feels forced, like the UFC star has been rehearsing too long. Yes, it’s easy to mock Mayweather for allegedly not being able to read, but 50 Cent delivered the same material years ago after he and Mayweather had a nasty split.
Indeed, by the time the tour hit New York the trash talk was stale. Aside from the F-bombs thrown out like red meat to the eager crowd, there wasn’t anything that screamed “Buy me!” about the fight.
And to think there are three more All Access episodes remaining. That’s about three too many for this one-trick pony.
Still, the bottom line is that McGregor’s true believers really believe. They’re putting money on their man despite the fact he has no chance — other than something truly bizarre happening — inside the ring. They may not be able to afford seats in the arena but they will buy the pay-per-view in numbers that rival the 4.6 million sold for Mayweather-Pacquiao.
Expanding that outside the core of fans driving this fight will be more difficult, though, as shown by the resistance to the insanely inflated ticket prices.
Proof, perhaps, that even a freak show is worth only so much. CBB


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